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  CSPAN    Tonight From Washington    News/Business. News.  

    November 9, 2012
    8:00 - 10:59pm EST  

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the first to point out, this will be the first time in history and majority of house democrats will not be white male, the first congress ever and in an election where we are talking about the changing america, that will be one more signal. this has been the great panel. thank you all so much for joining me. join me in thanking whit, stan and matt and people talk about some of the economic and policy implications of where we are.
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>> now look at the relationship between the united states and pakistan. we'll hear from a former u.s. ambassador to pakistan the ambassador to the united states and former adviser to hillary clinton. hosted by the world affairs council of america, this is 45 minutes. [applause] >> is a great pleasure to be here with such a great panel, three ambassadors and one globally renowned journalist and scholars. so i've been told there have been a lot of questions about pakistan and afghanistan so far and i think we have a first-rate panel to start dealing with them. what i'm going to do in terms of focusing the discussion is i'm going to key off with questions
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to each of our panelists, one each and allow for a little bit of follow up and then i will open the floor to use and you will have more time to engage with them. let me begin with ambassador munter. you already got his bio, but i think in some ways he is almost uniquely positioned to provide us a very recent perspective on what pakistan looks like in the united states to official american advisers and diplomats and also the u.s. pakistan relationship during what was an exceedingly difficult and trying time which is no reflection on him. but a reflection on something much broader than that. the question that i have for you ambassador munter is how should americans understand pakistan? so often pakistan is the top of our list of failing states,
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nearly failed states. is a country where we have a litany of problems, weapons and so on, internal dynamics often looking very troubling certainly from the outside. what direction is pakistan moving from your observation? is it in fact failing or failed? how worried should we be about that as you look at it from your perspective having spent some time there on the ground? >> thanks for the opportunity to speak on this and i will try to be brief with the cola points. one of the problems is not the objective reality but what are the false in the pakistani democracy and what of the problems it has with its neighbors? the main problem i see in the bilateral relationship is that we have pernicious stereotypes of one another. two narratives, and american narrative and a pakistani narrative that get in the way of
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understanding. the american narrative is double crossers to take her money and don't do what they -- we want them to do. this is a widespread prejudice in pakistan and there's enough truth to it that you cannot find evidence and aesthetic guide to negative downward spiral and makes it very hard to develop trust. the pakistanis also as a narrative which is the americans use us and discard us. they use is against the russians in the 1980s and tossed us out ostensibly because of nuclear proliferation in 1990. they used us in the war after 9/11 and that after 2014 they will go way. the pakistanis thinks americans are hardwired to desert them. this set of stereotypes is intellectually lazy and very pernicious. one way to get out of this would need what husain haqqani my counterpart, suggested or with
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others who shall rename nameless facet in the press is time for containment and to push this away. those two are think are not reasonable alternatives. remaining engaged with pakistan, there is no alternative to it but i would argue that having a focus strictly on the bilateral relationship is something that has been a problem for us. what we need to do is break out of this bilateralism, this sterile debate and look at the issues that have to do with pakistan's relationship to india the issues that have to do with the sequence of events that will take place after 2014 when the american focus once again as steve mentioned, when the american focus become somewhat less on our relationship to counterterrorism and opens the door for more creative ways of business, academic, media and other links with pakistan that has suffered in last 10 years because of our focus. i guess i come out out of your question answering that i'm
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cautiously optimistic that there were two things on the rails which if you know what happened over the last two years is not an easy thing. it was kind of like rolling down the side of the -- with rocks and cactus is is an you don't know how far the ripping go so when i see these keeping things on track it's not easy to keep things on track and pakistan is the way it is mismanaged and the difficulties in our relationship but if we are able to do so after 2014 there will be a prospect that we can open up to new kinds of cooperation if we are not slaves to a bilateral vision based on this mistrust and if we focus on a multilateral and regional issues which will ultimately lead to economic growth, good relations with india and with pakistan. >> you have given us an important vision as to the bilateral relationship, the u.s. pakistan relationship and each continues to remain a gauge but i want to pull you back so we have a chance to the specific
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issue of where pakistan itself is heading. there is the broader a broader question of bilateral but what was your sense of this country? what is the direction? >> i'm a refugee from -- those who cannot do and those who cannot teach become diplomats but i will give you an assignment. the british academic wrote a book called pakistan, a hard country they came out in 2010 in which he describes a society that is static. is stable but not capable -- cohen answered your question i think pakistan has an enormous difficulty trying to make the progressive reforms that the president pakistan would like to see. early because of tribal ethnic historical reasons. it's difficult to -- for change to be persistent. you have the parties which are the traditional powerbrokers. the system is very stable but
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very difficult to move. i would argue that it is in trouble economically and in trouble socially. there are a lot of indicators and i won't take the time, if they are going to address those issues they are going to have to do it across borders. that is it there is going to be changed in economy, it's going to be because of the healthy relation with india. if they are going to deal with a society that is very fractured along religious and ethnic lines gets going to be because groups and civil society's ethnic groups businesses other people reach out side of pakistan's borders. my short answer is i think their stock and i think the way to unstick them everyone realizes is not going to be, it's not reasonable to expect the current political structure has a vision to reform. >> we will move through some
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questions, shifting gears a little bit. peter i would like to bring us back to something that ambassador munter was saying about the centrality of the past couple of years old counterterrorism in the u.s. strategy and we are all familiar with some of them much heralded achievements that the united states has made on the counterterror front. i would be curious to get to questions and for you. one would be, are things, heavily compresses much in counterterrorism and particular in pakistan and afghanistan as it appears and is widely reported and claimed by the obama administration. and secondly getting us into the more specific question of drones. this has been the controversial tool that has in many ways gotten us where we are and you have written extensively about it. how would you say we stand on the drum process and pakistan?
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>> thank you for those questions and for the opportunity to talk to this distinguished audience and distinguished panel. what we have accomplished is osama bin laden himself. if you look at the documents released from abbottabad they fit well with any expert analysis of al qaeda which is al al qaeda is in deep, deep, has a deep set of problems. the al qaeda brand is deeply damaged. he was telling other affiliates of al qaeda not to use the name al qaeda and it would be bad for fundraising and attract negative attention. he was keenly aware of how much damage the drum program was doing and advocating al qaeda move from western pakistan to kunar which is one of the most heavily forested and mountainous areas of afghanistan, difficult or american surveillance to see
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what's going on there. he was advocating that his youngest son moved to qatar which is one of the richest and the most peaceful countries in the world, way from the tribal regions of pakistan so he was aware they were running out of money. he was dealing with probable ideas about attacking president president obama or general petraeus and the portrait emerges from these documents is an organization in deep trouble. what have we accomplished? i think bin laden is the best witness for this case that we have accomplished a great deal. the drones are part of that. ambassador munter is very familiar with the debate that went on between the state department and the cia. if you look at the drone strikes over the past four years, in 2010 there were 122 drone strikes. the numbers have been dropping since then has the highest
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number of drone strikes we have engaged in. as everybody in this audience i'm sure knows president obama has launched six times more drone strikes than george w. bush in his two terms in office. the numbers have dropped 40%, 25% from 2012. i think this is a very good thing. mainly because we have -- kayani, general kayani said if you keep going after the top 20 why have you done 300 drone strikes? it does not add up. i think that is a good point and if you look at the victims of the strikes, there is a debate about how many are civilians and we at the america foundation think the civilian casualty rate is very low in the single digits but certainly there is a civilian casualty problem. in pakistan we enjoy a 9%
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favorability rating down from 20% and the drones are part of that story. if the cost of the successful drum program is 80 million pakistanis that is a pretty high cost. there has been a pushback against the cia essentially saying not all the strikes are necessary. if we end up -- [inaudible] if the cost is alienating the pakistani population so it's a tactic that certainly has its place in one final point, sometimes this is done in pakistani centrist and that is something that we need to communicate perhaps better. when massoud was killed this was the guy you had the blood of literally thousands of pakistanis on his hands and the fact that he was killed by a cia drone, and more public discussion of the useful. this is one of the world's worst
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keep secrets. drone attack is a public event and i'm glad the administration is having more public discussion because this is something that does operate in pakistan's interest even more than america's. >> peter just a quick follow up. given all the work you have done on al qaeda and your unique reporting with respect to bin laden, what would you say to the question about what pakistan likely did or knew about bin laden during the years that he lived in abbottabad? what do you make of that circumstance? what lesson should we draw from it? >> are people in the room familiar with whitey bulger? [laughter] whitey bulger was basically disappeared from 1999 until after bin laden was killed in some coastal town in california. he was the subject, on the fbi most wanted list and responsible
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for 20 murders in boston. no american official knew where he was. it's hard to prove negatives but we have 6000 documents from the bin laden compound that have been translated. if there's there is a smoking gun, proving official pakistani passivity operations are not so good that we would not pointed out publicly at this point. >> the difference between diplomats and journalists is that journalists say more than they know and diplomats no morew more than they say. but we are in harmony on this one. [laughter] there is no evidence i have seen that there was high-level complicity or knowledge about him being in abbottabad. this led to the problem that if you don't know you can be a accused of and confidence in this was a domestic issue but that is a different question than we are talking about. there is to my knowledge no evidence that they knew that he was there during that time. >> one quick follow up, al qaeda
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tried to kill general musharraf. al qaeda was at war with the pakistani state and the pakistani state is quite helpful with the operational commander of 9/11. we have had pakistani help reticular on the issue of al qaeda when it comes to other elements of the taliban that is a separate story. >> peter i will lay you off the hook without noting if you're interested in drones, he has made an extensive effort to keep track of the drone strikes to compile extensive database to make it publicly available on your web site. others are using it to compile other pretty impressive maps and other things so if you're interested in this issue i'd recommend it to you. ambassador, we have touched briefly on pakistan's relation in its neighborhood and india is almost always cited as a driver
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for much of what pakistan does and even for what much of pakistan is. recently we have seen the india pakistan relations have gotten better. perhaps significantly better and i would be curious as how you would see that warming in the relationship whether we should see this as a temporary tactical shift that will revert back to reform or something more than that? >> thank you and thank you to the world affairs counsel for letting me be part of this panel and part of this group. before looking at the regional i would like to make a couple of general comments. i think as steve said, pakistan is important and it's obviously important because of its size and it is a capable state. i'm not sure i would agree with ambassador munter that isn't is in sort of a stagnant period. i think in fact pakistan is
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going through a rather wrenching process and it's an important time to see which way the process moves. it is on the one hand, it's a country that i still believe the majority of people want a peaceful, stable, developed country where people have opportunities and the government is run has run transparently with some responsibility that has a sense of justice so it's not that different but i also think there are pressures, which want to pull it in a direction of extremism where the mullah and the mosque becomes an institution for all of those things, any number of things. it's actually had him would have great tension within pakistan and it's a moment that has dragged out. i think it is in turmoil.
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given that, some things are in that picture that only pakistanis can fix and we can talk about them and enumerate on them and we don't have the time here to do that. i would like to look at where the u.s., given this is a new term for the administration coming in, what is it that we can do and if that may be marginally important but i think it's worth doing because we do expend resources and sleepless nights, not me anymore but others do, looking at this issue of what to do. in that sense i think there are some things that need to be sort of focused on in some of these for the last two years, in conversations with those of us who stay in touch with those in government and those that can find themselves coming back to washington do. the first thing i think this
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afpak resolution has not worked, because as many people will say, pakistan is in many ways more critical. afghanistan is important but pakistan is more critical because there are points in afghanistan that makes the u.s. life more difficult. so i think afpak has not worked and in some ways it was a designation that nature that we did not equate india with pakistan. india so far off the tracks and i don't think there is any question anymore but i think afpak has not worked in to look at pakistan -- is not going to make it. one of the things that needs to happen is to look at it more in a regional district where of course the relationship remains very critical and important. there i think it is time that the united states try and at
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least broker a resolution at the long festering issue and that is the international border between pakistan and afghanistan. it is difficult to make the point when the u.s. withdraws that pakistanis should stay on this side. if the government recognizes the existing border as the international border which everybody else does, then it makes the case harder. nobody assumes that it will extend to the indies river just as no one should assume that they rid of pakistan should extend into pakistan so in practical terms, this needs to be acknowledged and i think if the u.s. can make that happen before 2014 or at least get the conversation started it will be a very important thing. on the regional front, because pakistan requires india and
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pakistan have a productive relationship then there are still a lot of people in the c-span -- and the good thing is the people-to-people awareness has gotten much better. my hope is having spent much of my life government to government and military-to-military, that sort of is still at a low burner face but the people-to-people, the images are changing. amongst extremist and maybe not among -- we will always retain some of the bad guys so they can -- [inaudible] that i think it will be harder for politicians to make the case that people should go to war with india especially since most people realize it's a war that cannot be one and people are getting a little fatigued with the military sort of saying is paramount in pakistan simply an excuse that they might try to fight india. for buddy knows it he will not win the war.
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why do you need such a large military? i don't think the military wants it to become a burning issue so if something for them to keep the relationship improving slowly and that is a very productive thing. finally i think in terms of the regional issue, the iran issue comes in but i do think that it is important for saudi arabia to sort of stop playing this game now looking the other way when rich saudis and there are plenty of rich saudi's, begin to interfere in what started in the 80's under the u.s., get rid of the soviets and therefore you need to develop islamic credentials of the uneducated masses and get them launched as mujahideen. it is now sort of shifting over
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to an era where even benignly, it's never benign once it settles into pakistan, the mullahs in the mosques funded through wahhabi's contributions, often given by family members. i'm not saying sanctioned or proposed that it was tolerated. is playing havoc in terms of the pakistani society. look at the history of islamic -- the fact that the saudi's have the title of keeper of the holy places does not give them an open-ended right to mess with them. i am sad to say that it makes no sense in terms of saudi interests and nevermind the long-term. i do think this has to be part of the u.s. conversation as well
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as the pakistani conversation. the u.s. needs to start holding saudi arabia to some measure of transparency because that is sort of the constant you know, raising the ante that is going to occur no matter how much we put money into education, and to all of the other good things that others do. i hope that this can be part of the focus and the u.s. administration can work on it because for the security, stability and development of pakistan and somebody mentioned -- so i cannot not focus on that. the final thing i would say is in terms of long-term return for u.s. money, there is an going to be that much money. i don't know at how much is delivered will be -- i would put it into girl's
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education. i think the return for the small monkey put in will be far more than the 15 tanks were the one aircraft or even one power plant. [applause] thank you. >> thank you, thank you. thanks for not only addressing some of the internal issues but taking us on a good tour the region which included india but also afghanistan and that takes us to ambassador subtwelve. ivc pakistan's role in afghanistan has been spoken of in a historical context at great length and we now face a very interesting moment in terms of the lead-up to 2014, u.s. plans for military withdrawal and what appears a lease from the outside to be a fairly concerted effort to find some sort of apolitical means to somehow bring this war too, if not a clean and, at least a messy close by drawing
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back some of the insurgents into a dialogue. pakistan's role in that seems to be especially fraught and i would be curious what you make of that, because you have certainly seen the overtures in the pakistani government is making to a wide range of afghans now which appear to be somewhat different from the past. past. you. you have been intimately familiar with pakistan's behavior in the years that came before. what should we expect from the pakistanis with respect to our efforts in afghanistan over the next year or 18 months? >> thank you very much for inviting me to this panel. i see a number of friends from when i served as ambassador. thank you. the role that pakistan and afghanistan are and the two important transitions, the first
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transition as the political transition and you mentioned the role that pakistan could play as part of the transition in bringing in certain elements of the political fold in afghanistan. i will talk about the transition in afghanistan and the role pakistan could play on these transitions, the political transition, the economic transition in the security transition. on the issue of the political transition and the reconciliation which is the most important component of ringing stability to intelligence in afghanistan, pakistan has no clear position. when the reconciliation effort started that was as early as 2004, pakistan was against it. those elements of the taliban who tried to reach out to us, most of them had tribal
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connections and others were imprisoned. they were removed from qatar into karachi into other areas where we could not actually access them. finally, through many other contacts where they agreed to play a constructive role in the reconciliation process, their demand was two things. first, include the most lethal part of the taliban and the other was the haqqani's are fighting the hardest and therefore they should be part of the reconciliation. they have claimed attacking the u.s. embassy and u.s. helicopters and many motels and kabul and the embassy in kabul and other so it was not an easy decision for us or for friends who are nato allies to say yes do it but if you bring them to the table we will talk to them. and then they asked us, why don't you lobby in the u.s. too?
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that was the second phase, to include them in the reconciliation process and of course there was pushed back from the united states on that front. so therefore, the role of reconciliation is not unified overall. and the afghan and united states and pakistan are not on the same page on what reconciliation means. ..
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so where we need to transition, private-sector economy needs to reintegrate ourself with pakistan into central asia. we don't see much progress on this front. and on the issue of transition to the security to the afghans, take responsibility upon themselves because they're is a shortage of scale. they should be fighting the fight themselves. u.s. should get out of the active combat role in afghanistan. the stiffer afghanistan and the u.s. and it makes limited u.s. presence in afghanistan sustainable.
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so therefore in this fund also we don't see much progress. our friends in pakistan. we very much would like the afghan people to see an improvement. and just to end on very short comments on what some of what my distinguished panelists of mentioned, i thoroughly expect the issue of abbottabad, hard to imagine that someone would hide at west point in the united states. that compound, even a very small nation intelligence service, one of the leaders may be living there. something unusual. so just a short comment on that.
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also, the issue, i was very much in favor at the beginning. i told the ambassador back then. i am find. even, that is -- take afghanistan and out of it completely. i don't want that. [laughter] >> very good. thank you. let me just say, we could probably have this panel go on for another hour. i could raise questions with each of our panelists and interest in use to -- useful answers. at the request of our sponsors would like to do is open up to questions from our so that they can fielder questions and comments. >> hello. world affairs council. i directed to the ambassador. the invitations have ambassador.
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privilege to lead a group of six council leaders to afghanistan in march. we met with president karzai and two potential presidential candidates. my question is, one of the issues that was brought up with us over and over among all the different members of afghan society we met with is a fear and a concern of what happens. and what everyone may think of them, he has managed to, you know, keep the country, you know, under control for the last a years. and, you know, get some legitimacy by all of the different ethnic groups. is there anyone that you can see that would have that same legitimacy over all the various ethnic groups that have potential successors? >> thank you. fortunately in afghanistan right elbow, president karzai, make sure that he gets the hon. title , i think that will show
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also the majority of the afghan people in the nation, respect the former leader, give a sense of assurance. but at the same time we have to be mindful that it creates a sense among our leaders to my being in afghanistan, particularly in our part of the world, to get the notion that they are the only one that has the best interest of the country in mind. therefore they should be involved on structuring or engineering actually what is coming out. so it's a balancing act. as far as to was will come, i think we have a society in afghanistan that is emerging. a significant number of people. we might have too many people who are planning on running. it is as important for all of us to keep in mind, continue to keep the pressure on, to have a transparent and fair relation
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and 2014 because it is very much key to what has been accomplished. >> hi. the world affairs council of harrisburg, and i want to simply complement the ambassador for raising the important issue of the education of women and girls . but cogitated even further, we recently had a speaker from afghanistan. i think they know where. said that this whole concept needs to be expanded to include also young man who have not had the opportunity to be educated, especially because of all the wars in afghanistan. i would like to really ask you, if the united states is missing the -- missing the big picture of the thing that will keep our troops out of afghanistan or deal better with pakistan is helping to improve the educational system in both these countries, and i would like to talk about that. are we doing enough to, first of all, in afghanistan, create an
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educational structure that will keep young people in general from being targeted and lured by extremists, and we feel that the united states really gets it that that is the key to conquering extremism jack not just with guns, but with books. >> the u.s. has tried. i think you would agree. both in afghanistan and pakistan, but it is a question of resources. ought to be the bigger picture. but given that the resources are going to be limited, and it's not going to be the trillion or billion dollars every month or whenever the expense. the people are going to say, okay, the wars which is off. we are not going to put a billion and education. does not going to happen. one of the great support in this country for ending the war is is let's do something here. so given the limited nature of
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the practical sort of amount of money available to, my sense is that, yes, of course, to educate is good because then they understand why it's important to educate the girls. the fact is, if you educate the girl and she goes through, you know, south asia, at least in the and pakistan. but if you educate a girl, a woman, yet educated 19 people because of the family system and the way it works. the fact remains, they will find the resources. so for the u.s. proponents, i think there's something good also to be seen. these issues. it's important to us. put pressure on the local governments. put their money overall. i mean, that's one way of
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bypassing. if it does not have a horrific extremist an element it can provide it. >> if i could add on that. first of all, wanted to address your point. i don't think we are as far apart as you may have said about the status or the dynamic. there is enormous ferment in society and pakistan and it's the most exciting part of what is happening. for all of you, reaching out to your counterparts, if you can in pakistan is something that would be a wonderful contribution to this effort. the legislation and pakistan.
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the money you are investing long term in the development of society means is much more likely that they'll have to go back. going long term. we make the mistake of trying to be all things to all people. we overloaded an enormous amount of money, putting in a billion dollars a year. we were not as focused as we should have been. o we learned is a conclusion. he could have saved us a lot of money. we learned that we had to have a few key areas, among them education the program. we spent an enormous amount of money on education. so did the brits. the largest by far assistance program is their elementary program they're doing in pakistan. there is an understanding that this is the way to get to the future in pakistan. within pakistan there has been a constitutional amendment which
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is to evolve the responsibility for education below the college level to the provinces. and while that is seen as a means of getting government back in touch with people at a local level, some provinces are really bad at affecting this. they simply don't have the capacity. very mixed results. so yes, you're right. education. at the end of the day, it's very difficult for people from the outside to do things when they're is a division from the inside the you can't follow. we have to throw this back to pakistan is, but until the institutions that i was talking about come up with the vision caught this spend a pitiful amount of money, just a pitiful amount, which is why the madrasahs are so attractive to people, but until the, but the visits are for the goodwill of the international donor committee to help them.
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there are a number of charitable institutions in pakistan, he is charitable sector, and also the philanthropic sector may want to make send help, get out of the government does and do this flood topically, but you are on to, i think, one of the key elements of our relationship could transform itself if we focused on things. >> i think we have one more question in the back. >> yes. alan livingston. houston world affairs council. you mentioned terrorist groups operating within pakistan like out data. has there been any effort to rein in by the isi groups like the ltte which were operating and had ties in with india operating mainly outside pakistan jack. >> yes. >> that me make a general observation. so much negativity about pakistan. 2002, the general fix the
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election. the disadvantage for secular parties. and the alliance that 11 percent of the vote would allow them to control two of for pakistan's. in 2008 there was a free and fair election. the mmi was annihilated. 2 percent of the vote and lost control of these two important provinces. so, you know, that is, i think, an important point for us to keep in our minds when we kind of critique, rightly critique what they have done in terms of supporting gian the groups. of course, a group that attacked in my in 2008. officially back, but in practice it continues to operate under different name. you know, because it has identified which after all is good a popular cause in pakistan , this is a mass movement. social welfare services.
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and will not crackdown on what this group is not called. it is seen as the cash liberation group. the legitimacy in pakistan. the big question is, well they do anything about the network? and hit it to, they have not done that much. that said, they did launch a major military operation which to the stated that palestine. did it launch a major military operation in the south which devastated the tall man. sir talking about a quite complex issue that is not really amenable to a declarative answer i think it would be in that pakistan the interest. by their own their would say that 30,000 civilians have died, 3,000 soldiers. pakistan soldiers have died.
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later, u.s. combined. afghanistan. so these -- that's why i'm making an observation about this very complicated. pakistan is a very large country with very different views about what to do, but i think the last point i make, the religious robin had the talent that had has more or less evaporated in pakistan. it made its development, a 14 year-old child who was, there was an assassination attempt against her by the taliban. so i think in the long term the problem for the taliban. >> as i expected and hoped, our panel has provided us more than enough food for thought. obviously this to go, as i say, a couple more hours. there are issues, including very important issues about nuclear weapons and so on that we did not even have a chance to really glance over. so hopefully some of your other discussions would get to these
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matters. i want sub hope you'll join me in thanking your panelists. [applause] [inaudible conversations] >> next, more from today's event by the world affairs council with a look at the relationship between iran and israel. former obama administration released adviser dennis ross is interviewed by former state department spokesman. the talk of sanctions and the administration's approach to that country's nuclear program. this is about 40 minutes. [applause] >> thank you very much. dennis and i have done this a lot of the years, never before an audience.
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[laughter] when you are the president's foreign-policy spokesman and handing out in the roosevelt room as you have the israeli prime minister and then chairman arafat and the president trying to reach middle east piece you go and say, okay. but we tell the press. look, you can tell them what everyone except for this, this, and this. what else is there? but now we have the dennis two is out of the government. and writing a new book. so if you think about the next four years, clearly how the united states relationship evolves with ron, then the clear issue can be resolved short of conflict will be among those, if not the most pivotal issue facing the president in his second term. so start off, in 2009 when you were at the state department's as the special envoy for ron there was a strategy, both
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engagement. go back to 2009. the engagement has continued at a certain level, but then there has been the focus over the last couple of years on pressure, sanctions, and clearly the 40% drop in the value of a running currencies shows that actually is having the desired effect, but now has the pressure over the last couple of years created the opportunity for a return to the policy here in the forthcoming weeks. >> i am going to start by trying to flip my mind said. normally i am sitting here saying, you can talk abut context, you just can't give away anything. he would say, well, can't say this? and ice beckham if you do, okay. other than that. so i will try to orient myself and see ourselves in a different kind of setting.
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it is -- you remind me by going back, we would sit together and talk about what can we say. and now actually in retrospect, the essence of the strategy has unfolded in many respects as i think we probably anticipated, there was never an assumption that when the president was talking about engagement, the invasion was going to be a panacea. meetings with the iranians to my quickly be singing come via. everything would be transformed. but there was an assumption from the beginning that engagement was a to headed coin. one side of it reflected the realities, we have not had a systematic ability to talk to the iranians on basically anything. we have had episodic encounters with them over the years. but nothing ever systematic, and the idea was we wanted to it using data first to test the
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possibility, was their inability to reach an understanding? and the thought was, you have had, for over 30 years, others defining us to them and then to us, always having others interpreting our respective views and perceptions to each other, you need to see if you could actually have a conversation. the conversation could allow you to both talk to each other and explained their respective queues, the way you saw threats dalai use of threats, but the behaviors are problematic, what is said about us, and be prepared to sort of outline. look, you have a right, but you also have responsibility. you seem to what your rights when it comes to the ndp put you don't want any responsibilities. you want your rights recognized in the region, but you also want to be able to threaten all of your neighbors. you don't just get to have the
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responsibility. so one element of engagement was quite genuine. there was another side to it. that was, the obama administration inherited from the bush administration fairly and not a perception that the united states was so reluctant to talk to the iranians that that was the source of the problem. particularly if they were responsive. first there were not willing to engage, and basically not bilaterally. engaging in the umbrella. the members of the security
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council. and that context, they had not been responsive. so we put ourselves in a position where being willing to engage allowed us to then also focus on building pressure. there was an assumption that the notion of dual track worked, at least in terms of pressure because if you look at the behavior in 1979, the l.a. times they have adjusted their behavior has been when they have been under great pressure. in 1988, the supreme leader declared that iran would fight the war for 20 years orlon attack. when the leaders of the revolution guard, the prime minister came to the men said, we don't have the forces to we don't have the money, americans are really flagging and they have shot down a civilian
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airliner. we could be getting into a border conflict with them and we cannot afford it. we got in this war. the supreme leader said 20 years , suddenly decided in the the war. the equivalent of drinking poison. in 2003, and two dozen weeks they could not defeat. basically had this. suddenly they decided they thought they were next. suddenly decided they would suspend the enrichment and put a proposal on the table which would actually at least indicated a readiness to end the military's support. unfortunately that proposal put on the table was not really pursued. the separate issue, with the fact is it was not pursued.
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these two examples are indications that with the right kind of pressures the behavioral change. as he said, there is no doubt we have succeeded in putting on them crippling sanctions. in 2009 we talk about sanctions because we had to change the dynamic. we have gone to the park or rear able to work with the rest of the world and organize the rest of the world to put sanctions on them. estimates right now, the currency is being devalued. every two months. the thing about what that means. means that whenever they're buying cost twice as much and whenever they have in the bank is valued at half as much. the manifestation of the effect this is heaven with society and are not hard to come by. demonstrations because they're is a shortage. at typical. three weeks ago you had to restorations'. again, the merchant class to by
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the way was a lens and of the revolution in 1979. you have the supreme leader in the last two weeks making two separate statements where he said, he describes sanctions as being his words. this is the same guy he said in 1979, all is the sanctions. then make a strong year. we become more sufficient. better off. even now it is this change, talking about the sanctions being brutal. and the last two weeks he has repeatedly called on the leading iranian officials to stop fighting each other. by the way, the head of the revolutionary guard has attacked the head of the central bank. think about that. the head of the revolutionary guard has criticized the head of the central bank for causing the currency problem. why is the head of the revolutionary guard commenting on the head of the central bank? one of the reasons is because
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they're feeling it too. they have the former president who helps to embed the revolutionary guard in the economy as a way of enduring loyalty, suddenly they are feeling a to. and so the internal bickering, which is supreme leader is calling, it's a function of the pressure. that's the good news. they get home and say to my wife and i've got good news and bad news. for some reason she always asks for the bad news first. but the good news, the bad news is the nuclear program has not changed. i think what this means is that we are heading toward a year that is going to be decisive. 2013 will be decisive one where the other. i believe the administration will pursue and initiatives geared toward putting an end
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game proposal on the table which will allow the iranians to have power, but with restrictions that will prevent them from being a will to break out to a nuclear warhead capability. if you go back to the last debate, the present governor romney, as long as i'm president the not going to have weapons, but he began to define the concept because he said it will permit them to have a breakdown capacity. if you looked at where we are, by the end of 2013, given the pace of the program, we are not really going to be in a position any longer to know unless the program changes whether they can present. so the combination of the pressure they're under, which they're feeling, and the reality that there is a nuclear program and our objective of prevention sometime in the coming year, the likelihood to reach ahead. i do believe their is a diplomatic way out because i think the pressure is being felt by them.
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last point and the pressure. the ministry of intelligence on there website this week actually put out an analysis, highly unusual, and which they talk about, well, that describe what happened. on the one and sang well it would set us back a few years with dennis said diplomacy could achieve our aim at a much lower price. from an administrative intelligence. something you would never have seen before. so these, for me, the pressure of having an affect. but probably beginning to position themselves to justify the different kind of negotiation. whether that will be sufficient to reach an agreement remains to be seen. >> you have a number of things coming up. the iranians, the new york times to arrive before the foreign
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policy debate that into that there was a dance under way to get to that new diplomatic initiative. the iranians are going to wait until the election. now they know that the president is, and we have an israeli election in january and run an election in june. how might does influence not only the direction of the diplomatic initiative, but the pace. >> i'm absolutely glad that i can answer these kinds of questions. ask these kinds of questions when were on the inside and i could not say anything. a very different kind of setting >> finally. >> well, let's take issues and turn. the iranian election creates what i would describe as both an opportunity and the problem because before their election you're likely to see increasing
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turmoil within the leaders which tells me that there is probably a fairly short window will for they get into that mode. i do believe some of the maneuvering right now is even in anticipation on their side that they're going to have to do something san before they get into their own election cycle. and the elections are not like ours, necessarily, but we have seen that they get consumed. you know, first of all, they define who can run. most of the people who could be candid it's are disqualified. but in 2009, in the context of a fairly confined room for candid it's there ended up being this kind of remarkable tussle that went on, and it was also completely preoccupied to them. it would be very interesting to see. but i think at this point it simple to know i think there's
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probably a window of a couple of months, probably not to exceed, i would say, probably through february. after that the election, jim, i suspect we may get caught up or they get caught up. and it's all maneuvering. this apparently will have to decide. one other thing. one thing about the supreme leader. he basically preserved mahmoud ahmadinejad in power. it was one of those things, be careful what you wish for because it became his worst nightmare. the last thing he wants is for there to be a deal with the united states that he would get credit for. by the same token, he probably wants to do something in advance of the election because if they're is new president and he is elected and he gets credit, then the president becomes popular. that becomes a threat to the supreme leader. when you look historically there has been tension between every iranian president and the supreme leader. at least since it became the
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supreme leader. so that is why i say, that creates the kind of interesting window. there is the israeli election on january 22nd. and i think, you know, when you saw, the prime master of is rare when he gave his speech at the u.n. and had this graphic illustration of the problem, he created what was a new threshold for them. and the threshold. from the previous to my don't know, 6-12 months the israelis have been focusing on primarily because of the defense minister, what he called the son of immunity. what he meant was, iran was going to of, with the character of the sip their program, the theft of the redundancy, the hardening of the nuclear program would reach a point where the israelis would actually lose their military options.
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and not just this one, easily accept a situation where they face a threat but no longer have the military option to deal with it. and so what he was trying to say come identify the point at which the zone of immunity, he was saying it would be the end of 2012. he has changed that and said it has been pushed back. when the prime minister was in new york he focused on the point at which the iranians would cross a threshold where there would have the ability to grow the nuclear weapon and you would not be allowed to do anything about it. he was suggesting that would be when they had 20%. that is a very limited definition because the you know, let's say the iranian said, okay. rare not going to -- we will agree to but 20 percent, but it continues they're going to reach the same point.
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so the issue for him was defined in a way that also pushed it off to the middle of 2013. so the defense and prime minister from different perspectives have come up, the middle of 2013. and here again, i say that because i think it creates an interesting kind of convergence were there is a window over three to four months to try to do something. the question as to if you get into a negotiation, if it is an end game kind of negotiation, this allows you to, i think, clarify that this will be real not. >> i want to ask one more question. if people want to ask questions, starts to move toward the microphones in the front door back. but yesterday, the aspen institute suggested that a pre-emptive military strike to take out a runs existing military capability was not a
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credible option because it starts a conflict without necessarily understanding where dance. he was very clear that the military remains an option, but he would say it has to be where perron tax first to try to break out of sanctions, and if so there is a much more strong justifiable and greater regional support, you know, to retaliate. what is, what is, how you see the role of military force in this? and beyond that, the president said that containment is not his policy, and yet you in your days and is a soviet expert under seven -- seven containment, it works just fine. if diplomacy fails and the military option may be necessary, but carries tremendous cost and uncertainty, is contained in a viable option with regard to rod? -- iran?
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>> a state that issue on directly and i can deal with that. there was a debate within the administration before the president adopted the objective of prevention. the debate was between two options. should we have an objective of prevention or should we have an objective of containment? those who argue for containment did not say, look, iran having a nuclear weapon is a good thing, but what they said is, we can live with it. we can contain it. we can deter. we can do it because we have done it with pakistan when nuclear. number three when a clear. before to back to the kennedy administration, the kennedy administration, talk to the soviets about the possibility of cooperating in this because of the concern of what it meant if china have this capability. so they argue for containment. we have been able to contain others.
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the argument against containment was because it won't work. and in his, the essence of what the argument was, it wasn't that if they have a nuclear weapon, the moment they get their views it. if they want a clear weapons, the iranians believe they have the right in the middle east. this is their perception. they think with a strong historical culture, they look down and say they have the right to dominate the region. they see the nuclear weapons as making them much more active. it's also a defense, because they say no. has it. nobody in this sense is that been done the same way. >> there crazy but not stupid. >> right. khaddafi gave his of public happen to him, so they have offensive and defensive reasons. the argument was not that the minute they get their views it, and the argument was that the
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minute they get there will immediately turn over, although there is some risk over time. but the argument was different. the argument was, it will work for the following reason. the obama administration would be the third administration that has said they can have a. well, the administration we work in, the current administration says they can't have it. the george w. bush a message is that they can't have it, and the obama administration said they can have it. after they give it, if we then go to ross neighbors, like for example, the saudis and say it's okay, we said they could have it, they got it, but you can take hours. we will extend. you don't need to get. well, that's not going to be a very credible argument to them to say the least. i mean, i have my own experience in the spring of 2009i was asked to go see the king of saudi arabia and explain my iranian
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policy dam. i spent about an hour going through all the intricacies of this and been eloquent and the like. at the end of an hour doing this is said very simply, if they did we get it. now, of course, i explained to him the consequences of that. for the next ten minutes in a very compelling way i explained all the consequences of this because i am duty bound. at the end of tennessee said, if they did we get it. so much for my persuasive capabilities. but they're is a reason. if they were to give it everything we said before would be taken seriously by the regional players. saudi arabia, your most serious competitor is around, and in every conceivable sense, politically in the region, religiously, psychologically, and suddenly they now have this
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unmistakable image of superiority over you. that's simply not something they're going to tolerate. it doesn't matter what we say. so once they get the saudis will. well, they don't have the structure. they have something else. they have money. there will be able to get it from pakistan. oftentimes we do best. an echo. so they will have it. once they have this was the second part of the argument. they will prevent that. now you're talking about a middle east that will be nuclear. it won't only be the saudis. and the idea that the concept of the cold war, which i was a practitioner of, going to work here. i used to work and the soviet union. i actually start off as a negotiator. you know, there you had a
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guaranteed balance. each side knew they couldn't disarm the other. we both had in a short second strike capability. in the middle east you won't have that. no one will believe they can afford to strike second. now it means that everybody in that region is going to be on a hair trigger. think about it. this is a region that is characterized. that is the norm, not the exception. so they are all on a hair trigger, and it makes the prospect of a clear were very likely, which is a pretty horrendous prospect. so that is the reason the president made the decision for convention -- prevention. now, to pick up on the question, the -- nobody looks at the use of force as being something you want to do. but the fact is, you know, do i believe we have to wait until the iranians do something? i believe this president gave an interview with said, don't laugh he also, he is not impulsive.
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he thinks things through. and this debate took place and he thought about it to me he thought it through a major decision. and one of the reasons i believe he will, at some point we will see a serious effort to put an end game proposal on the table, in effect it will say, you say you want a little power. you can have it. you have it with restrictions. if they turn it down, i think that exposes and creates the justification. i think that is one of the reasons you would also see that. i am not in the same place. >> questions from the floor. go ahead. >> world affairs council. my question has to do with the violence that goes on between israel and iran today and iran and the u.s. to a certain extent. i'm wondering how that -- what would it take to have that, to create real problems that may
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lead to a larger war? and not talking about the tit-for-tat assassinations, including the assassination attempt on the saudi ambassador here, and i'm talking about the cyber war. u.s. and israel apparently toward iran and iran apparently out toward the u.s. >> well, certain things i will address and third and things of. first, the kind of substrate in war between the iranians and israelis as, for some time. in the 1990's, we were constantly contending with acts of terror, and we knew they were being bused and promoted by the iranians. the iranians were pushing particularly, the islamic jihad to do this. they were, you know, constantly demanding than to carry out bombings in israel designed to
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undercut the negotiating process is. you know, one of the things, every time we seem to make progress we would face a bombing. this is what the iranians are doing. we at the time, the 1996 election, we actually went to the germans to say, look, you have a relationship with these guys. you have to get them to stop this. and, you know, at that time we were actually pushing for much more severe sanctions because of what the rains are doing on the chair front, not so much even a clear front, but the terror front. so this has existed for some time. there is obviously a built-in wrist when you carry out. the israelis don't admit to some of what you describe as the assassination. but the fact is, you know, one
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of these attacks can be taken across from the threshold. you can know for sure will happen as a result. the fact that it is gone for while suggests that they stay within certain kind. the nuclear questions resulting different. >> thank you. with the cuteness of the iran issue on the rise in recent years, sorry, i am here from freedom house. speaking entirely only for myself. with the cuteness of the iran issue on the rise i think that one other central problem that has been drowned out in recent years is the israeli-palestinian conflict, and one of the most depressing aspects of the foreign policy debate that happened was that it got barely mentioned, so i wanted to ask if you thought that this was an issue that would get any attention among u.s. policymakers over the next four years? more broadly, whether you think
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there is any prospect for a two-stage solution in the near future. thanks. >> let me just add to that. i mean, there was a strong attempt in the first year of the obama administration to try to unlock it. it was not successful. but another aspect of that, is a peace agreement between prime minister netanyahu and presidents mahmoud abbas, can this happen between these two men or does it have to wait for a succession of leaders. >> you know, this is -- this is a difficult problem. >> full employment. [laughter] >> yes. yes. yes. the last three years of my life have been spent on this issue.
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you know, we have had moments where i thought there were -- we had tremendous potential to really achieve success and obviously other moments that have been quite disparate. the one thing i say, let's take a step back. when you last. , the context debate he is making is not great. and is not great. and no small part because the year of the awakening has created a chilling effect on both sides. you know, he looked at the rise all around him. and see, if he were to take the steps with the israelis, there's bound to be a backlash against them. he gave an interview. he gave an interview to channel to of israel a week ago in which she was asked a question about will he return to his home.
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he was born. he said, no, he would not go back. that was taken to mean that in effect he was giving up on the right of return. as for israelis the issue of the right of return is know as well. and for palestinians the right of return has been a kind of combating spirit of the national movement. and obviously this is an issue you're going to have to resolve built into that has always been the assumption that you know, they could return to their own state and there would be some kind of compensation. when we did the parameters that is effectively what we offered. and so when he said this, there's an immediate backlash. and so then he gave another in arabic in which she said, well,
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he was speaking personally. no one could give up the return. and so he gave, i have to say, an interesting answer, to be fair. he basically referred to, this is in resolution 194, the un general assembly. and he actually referred to compensation. by the way, not to bore you, but when you have done with the issue for as long as i have, there is no issue that is too small. there is like, unfortunately, i have not been consumed. it actually never uses the words right of return. talks about those who could return to their homes if they're prepared to live in peace. never uses the term rider return. ever turn became something that was rather different. but i refer because the context
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of the arab awakening has a chilling effect. and we have seen it is behavior. he has not been -- yes costly, but reasons why could not be going into negotiations and how his rationale would be that he is not believe the negotiation is possible. he wants to focus. meet certain conditions and if they met those conditions that would prove negotiations could lead somewhere. but the view was you insist on conditions with me that you insist on with none of my predecessors. i am prepared to talk without any of those preconditions. and this was what we feel -- fell victim to with the obama administration. and they're is a kind of, you know, a chilling effect on netanyahu as well because you look around. if you do a deal, he doesn't even control gaza. how long is he going to be there? and what are you going to be facing? so each side has a reason not to
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take risks, but in my mind, believe they're not, that is not even the most important limitation. the most important limitation today is that there is complete disbelief on the part of the public. i'm using the word does believe very consciously. there is a complete disbelief on the part of the public. neither public believes that the other is committed to a two state outcome. israelis the to palestinians and believe the palestinians are still committed to a phased approach to doing away with israel or if they say two states them in a palestinian state and by national state. and palestinians like the israelis and say, there will never surrender control. if they really believe in two states, why are they building? so both of them have a story they tell themselves. and talking about the public. that is not an environment in
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which she wheeled to say, let's go put a plan of a table. he put a plan to the table in both size and rejected. i will pause now. i actually do. >> we are already way over time. that would give one last quick question. >> thank you very much. i am with the law's vagueness council. my question is, if the demonstration decides that military action is only the -- the only exercisable options, have the other allies signaled or committed that there would support israel and the u.s.? if so, who and what type of support can we expect?
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>> well, i don't think there have been those kinds of discussions because the focus is ben on diplomacy on everybody's part. by the way, it's an israeli concept. the israelis believe you can still achieve this through non-military means. one of the reasons i oftentimes did ask the question, wireless so vocal about this? if you look at what they did, the syrian one. you never heard word one about that. there's three reasons. it was designed to motivate the rest of the world. i think, by the way, we know from our efforts in this regard, the idea that the europeans would have adopted sanctions including a boycott on iranian oil if they didn't think the alternative was the israelis would strike voluntarily, to think that would have happened
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without the israeli motivation, probably not too realistic. the motivation is real. the second reason they do it is because they're getting the world ready not to be surprised if diplomacy fails. the third reason is to get their own public ready. so that reflects their reality, but in answer to your question, we, you know, we have not had conversations that i am aware of that would deal with that. david cameron dismays statement in which he said, for all options are on the table. options are on the table. rihanna the only ones to say our options are on the table. and i believe that that can allow diplomacy is, in fact, the most desired option, there are others too, have the context is created, and this is, again, my point about men can proposal that demonstrates unmistakably the iranians had a chance to have a diplomatic way out and
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chose not to take it, i think that would create a context where it becomes useful. my very last point because i know we are over time, its importance to have that understand one thing. in 2007 the iranians crossed the threshold of ron their own. so it means even if we destroy the facilities they can rebuild them. you want to be able to maintain the same kind of sanctions because that will raise the cost of dramatically trying to rebuild. into context of that is more likely. so it becomes necessary. >> join me in thanking good friend. [applause] we will convene the next panel
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very quickly. [inaudible conversations] >> now we will continue looking at national security issues in the middle east with professors from duke and georgia russian to universities. they focus on the violence and syria and the challenges each jet phases going forward. this is about an hour. >> good morning. i am bill clifford, president and ceo of world boston. as we head into the ultimate panel, assessing the aftermath of the arabs bring, please allow me to think todd culpeper, president and ceo of the world affairs council of america, his crack staff, national council chair, lori murray, and our many sponsors for this significantly stimulating conference thus far. [applause]
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like america, i am awash in debt it is time to make good on those obligations to each year on the panel, who i'm honored to present. i have had the pleasure of hearing at dozens of universities in the boston area. i am telling you a way overdue invitation to our counsel downtown. the professor is a senior fellow at the sovran center at brookings institution, a distinguished former adviser to my current adviser to many government agencies, u.s. leaders, and diplomats, and a prolific and best-selling author let me quote from the top of his website at the university of maryland where he is a professor of peace and development. i have always believed that could scholarship can be relevant and consequential for public policy.
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it is possible to affect public policy without being an advocate , to be passionate about peace without losing analytical power, to be moved by what is just while conceding that no one has a monopoly on justice. i think our other scholars and our world affairs council colleagues share that sentiment. : associate professor of sociology and global health at duke university. a carnegie scholar, and associate director of duke islamic studies center. half libyan, spent much of her childhood in libya, and thanks to the arab spring she has had a touching and moving reunite -- reagin with her father after many, many years. i know you great thanks for a zesty presentation two months ago and, of course, we will go into it, but i also your dinner.
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professor mark lynch is not here yet, so i bomarc great gratitude for giving me the opportunity to live a lifelong dream and the twenties could. [laughter] and p.j. crowley who needs no introduction because the moderate in the last panel, i do want to say something. in march of 2011 weeks into the air of spring, the state department sent p.j. to his hometown, boston, where we had a great privilege of having events at boston university school of communication, emerson college, and we through a fine luncheon where he wowed our crowd. >> and mit. >> and mit, which all boston was not responsible for. so over the weekend i am driving in new england and listening to npr. the state department spokesman has just resigned.
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well, thank you very much. my members loves you, but on monday morning i had so many calls and the males, what did i mess by not going to that luncheon? he is a man of great candor become a principal, and trouble for speaking truth to power in saying something about the treatment and attention of private brad manning a over the wikileaks thing. you have ready on your feet. i owe you all a great thanks for being with us today. plenty to do that for you. [applause] >> i resigned two hours after speaking to world boston, the tour not connected. i want to make that perfectly clear. so we are coming up on that 2-year anniversary of this thing called the arab spring or the arab awakening or as marquees the title in his book, uprising. almost two years from when of food vendor into any zip himself @booktv himself on fire and
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literally change the reason. i want to go country by country, but 40,000-foot level, what is this about and what has happened to mike ..
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>> i think we are a little impatient. it has only been three years and there are still a lot of problems. each of the countries has their own unique problems that we will talk about. i also think that it has only been two years. there have been over four decades of stagnation development. expectations should be moderated based on the fact that this is a process that is going to take time. >> let me just address this by answering the question why were there so many people surprised by the uprisings? and use that as a way of understanding what is actually going on. we were not actually surprised that the public were angry with
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the government. but the public opinion polls for tenures come every year i say that the only question is not whether people have these reasons to revolt, but why haven't they revolted. we knew that there were economic problems and frustrations. no transparency, corruption, the government stood for one thing in the public stood for another thing. even separate identities. the fact that in egypt, the first thing they say is raise your head, you are an ejection, meaning be proud. so the question then is what happened? if this was true for a decade. there was nothing particularly unique about 2007 or 2011. whether there was a major economic crisis in egypt or
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tunisia. it was extraordinary and i don't think you can just blame it on economics. so the question is why didn't they do it before? i think we have the right answer. political sponsors have always assumed that it is not enough to have angry people to revolt. you have to organize and you have to get a lot of people through the streets and the government has to feel the heat. the fact you have a lot of angry people doesn't quite make it. governments understood that you can can't get people to the streets about organizing. the outline political parties. they kept tabs on social institutions. they put leaders in prison that challenge them. and they were under control. that is why some people are with us for the long haul. what happened over the last couple of years, we have been watching for a decade, but we did not fully understand. the information revolution has
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actually enabled people to turn out in large numbers without the need for significant or traditional political organizations or charismatic leadership. so when you get these people into the streets, the governments lose control completely. so the real issue is not why people voted revolted, that was not a surprise. but they were able to do it in large part, certainly, we have understood the impact of satellite television and the extension over the six years, i do the polling on how many people use the internet and how many use television, expansion has been unbelievable. you can see the distances and the consequences of that. so that tells me, by the way,
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that when people ask what is going on here in the middle east now, of course, every country has its own set of problems. every government has its own set of responses. we don't know how it will all turn out. but we do know that you have a public empowerment and that is expanding. no one can stop it because it espouses the economic prosperity issue. it is only going to move forward. that is going to force itself on to the politics of every country and government no matter the differences among them. >> certainly when you think about tunisia and egypt, two of the most connected societies in the middle east from a media standpoint. it is not surprising that started there. but what about yemen? one of the lesser connected societies. >> go ahead we might yemen is
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surprisingly well connected. what is interesting, is that one of the surprises to me, even a dozen years ago when i was out there for a conference, that when there was limited internet all over the arab world, the dialogue, the local numbers, somehow, they had a local number to dial it. so it is more connected than what you think. you know, but i say that because i think there is something about the way dingman and empowerment. it started with satellite television. clearly, that had the power to a community because he didn't meet a lot of people in some ways to use the internet. because when you have one
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person, they are communicating or even tweeting and al jazeera is putting on. it is the mixture of the social media and the satellite television. according to michaels, you know, for the past decade, if you look at where we started in the late 1990s, by last year, half of the public said al jazeera specifically was the first choice for news. and another 20 to 30% said it was the second choice for news. just to give you a sense of how the local national media became marginalized over time. that has been the story the whole decade. >> let's start talking about tunisia. good news stories -- so far so good?
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>> yes. to me it had a unique history and colonization. i think that what we have seen come out of tunisia so far is very promising. especially if you look at it compared to what's happening in libya. >> we will get to libya in a second. but egypt. we have a new leader. president morsi. we have to go through the definition of what is an islamist. a good islamist, a bad islamist. the president morsi, what is he contending with in terms of constituencies? he has constituencies within egypt. one thing to be an opposition leader for a long time. another thing to be responsible for governing. how do you see how he has done his first few months in office? and what are the prospects -- how will he of all for the muslim brotherhood of power of all? >> and a lot of people are frustrated with egypt and would
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like a transformation of the country, whether it is the economy that is still difficult. there is a lot of uncertainty about the outside world. for me, working from a historical perspective, it has been kind of a miracle that it has been relatively steady and relatively stable. it has been relatively absent of major violence. those things are promising. there are problems. when the revolution started in tunisia and egypt and people said, well, community is a divided society, etc., whereas you have relative population. it is not political. if you look at what is happening
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in egypt, initially when they had the parliamentary election, people assumed that it was principally now, the public supported these groups. they did. they basically controlled the muslim brotherhood. by the time it was in a few months, when we have? only 46% turnout for that election by the way, remarkably, the muslim brotherhood was very good at turning out people. their candidate got only one quarter of the vote. in the end come when you have the final round between the candidates they establish, egypt is a divided country. we have to know that. the brotherhood, they assume
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that they have gotten carte blanche and they discover that they don't. at the moment, they are not only contending with that vision, but contending with pressure from the right. particularly in the constitution. this is the biggest issue facing egypt is the writing of a new constitution. it is not united on calling essentially for more specific sharia law. there is a deal that is more moderate between the muslim brotherhood and the liberals. so it is a work in progress. it is one of the constitutional issues in my mind, one of the most important issues.
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more than the economy, because ultimately that will tie their hands down the road. >> we welcome mark lynch. we will give him the chance to catch his breath. liberty is a study of the contents. the one country that is pro-american and unabashedly so in the region today, yet it is also a country where we saw in september and attack on our diplomatic outposts in benghazi. they put this contest and perspective. >> absolutely. one thing that is important to know about libya, is that even though in terms of the size, landmass that looked a lot like egypt. it is actually a very small country. benghazi was a good eight hour drive. getting back to the information age, a lot of social media,
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there is no a lack of organize information among the libyans themselves. my father was half an hour away from the industry when this happened. he hadn't a clue and nobody knew what was going on. >> so there is still a lack of organize information and a lot of mistrust. a lot of factionalism among current leaders of the government. people don't know they should trust them. and this gets back to the 40 years event in a positive way and kiss it was misconstrued. then they would go around and ask you to hang out on the town square and you would see them take the body in a helicopter
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and jump into the sea. so this is an underlying fear about what the information is that they are receiving. >> they are also heavily on. >> yes, this is the other problem. there a lot of arms in the hands of the wrong people. we want to be rid of them and we want to move forward. they do not want sharia law. they do not want to go the way of egypt. so we will see what happens. but it is true that there very pro-western, pro-american, despite what happened in september and despite the mid- mid-80s and that is still very much the forefront of people's memories. >> okay, let's turn this around a little bit. in your book, the arab uprising, you trace the challenge from the united states standpoint in
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creating a credible narrative about what is happening in the region in creating, you know, consistent policies across the region. is it possible to have a broader court hearings when, for example, when the president says he identifies with the aspirations of the egyptian people. we invoke a responsibility to protect the libyan people. and what about the syrian people? what does this mean in terms of u.s. interest and the short-term and u.s. president among that? >> that is a great question. the short answer is that no. that is not legal and policy wonks. but a slightly longer answer would be that there are some big changes that i think we have begun to recognize her in it and
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i think the administration has been good. it has been increasingly institutionalized. there is essentially a bipartisan consensus that we would rather work with friendly dictators than to deal with the messiness of democracy. so every administration in my living memory talks about this. but none of them really want wanted it. what they wanted was friends that would be more legitimate. but every time an administration was faced with a choice, whether to push for real democracy, which would empower the public will be difficult to deal with, they always chose the dictator over the people. i think that that idea that we have that choice, i think it is simply gone now. it has gone differentially in different parts of the region. we haven't quite caught up with the oil-producing states of the
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gulf. but the idea that there is this -- that we can make that choice -- listen to the debates in the united states about should we have let egypt happen. why did we do this egypt. and i'm sure what she was talking about before, this is ridiculous. there are millions of people at the end of january of 2011. every police station had been burned down. we didn't make it happen. we couldn't have stopped it if we wanted to. the recognition is really important. it is the old idea that we can go back to working with friendly dictators and i think that is just gone. second, which is really important, is the idea that we could control the region. that in a sense, the region is crying out for leadership and every problem, the region has to be solved by us. there is a healthy recognition now begin to us by the war on
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terror and iran and the arab uprising without the ability of the united states to manage and control what happens in the region. it is quite limited. so the combination of those two things, i think that helps to explain a lot of inconsistencies that you see in a place like egypt or tunisia, there is a recognition of the reality of the popular movement and try to do the best we can to shape those in a democratic direction that also protects our interests. so try to make sure that they make a real transition to democracy and engage with the muslim brotherhood. but try and push them in a more liberal direction. we realize that we can't stop it and we back away. the worst mistakes we have made in the entire arab spring, but you understand why they did it. and libya, there was an easy
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opportunity to do a significant amount of good. to stop the massacre and broke a real change without putting troops on the ground. it was a country that was dealing with the geographic decision, all those things. syria is a horrible problem, but it's too difficult for the united states to easily solve. so we recognize the limits of our ability to act. that is how i would answer this very big question. >> picking up on what you said about the united states and the need to control the region, this picks up on yesterday's discussion about the role of the united states as a leader. one of the ironies is the united states wasn't the force up front. it was england and france and libya. if you think back to the 80s and the irony -- the french
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would not allow them to fly over. i recall it, i was there. you know, really, the united states wasn't the driver it in this libyan case or in the egyptian case. >> i think the restrictions -- they understood that this is not about america and it should not be made about america. that was the assumption that drove a lot of this change to the course of history. beyond that, situation presented a different set of problems. libya was an easy one for two reasons beyond just the location and the consequences because it
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is very limited and syria has consequences for all the neighbors. one is for the first time in history, you had almost all rulers in the public agreeing. you know that this guy should go and support an intervention. and you have a u.n. security council resolution. those two are huge. when you are looking for legitimacy me -- the one thing that we need to be careful about is to leap into the fact that there is democratic change and it is supposedly irreversible. let me tell you why i am not there yet. this administration can't always succeed. but i think that the at the core, there is also an american public opinion. what happens in our public
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opinion, particularly after the revolution in egypt, there was a paradigm in the american public that was very difficult from the 9/11 paradigm. so when you ask the american public is as driven by ordinary people seeking freedom and democracy, or are they driven by islamic groups seeking to take control? more people said it was the former. in fact, you saw it also when you ask them do you view it as favorable or unfavorable. the majority of americans in april of 2011 had favorable views of the arab people. that has changed over the past year. what we see in the most recent
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poll is really a change where you have more people saying more about islamic groups to take control. not about ordinary people. users are now sorted 50 feet deep favorable and light on all the other issues. it is such a huge divide in america, it is two countries and one. you have two thirds, you know, a republican saying the arab world is still at the core. and the majority of democrats are saying no, it's all about conflict of interest that could be overcome. still, the majority of america remarkably supports democratic change, even if it leads to governments that are not firmly from the u.s. although those are part of the big divide among them, that is
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dividing american politics and that transformation is a function of what is happening in the middle east. it leads me to believe you can certainly have politicians who connects with it in different directions the map i haven't seen your latest polling, but the pew research center did in pulling in april 2011 and another one in october. they had a 30-point drop, saying that the changes will lead to lasting improvement and they found that the number of people, the percentage of americans who thought that the changes in the middle east were good for the united states, 14%. >> this gets to the heart of a very important issue, which is the way americans define democracy. it will never look like that in the arab world. part of what we are seeing is the realization that the disconnect -- we are expecting
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this to follow as it would in a western democratic state. so the expectations of what these democracy should look like moving forward needs to change. >> my point fundamentally is that the really big change, the congress and change is to understand that arabs are not waiting for americans to commission this. they don't care if president obama stands up and says, he wants democracy. we shouldn't be leaving. we can do things to help leaders stop if we want to. we can sell arms and protect them from international sanctions. that only delays the inevitable. i don't think they have found that lasting stability. some of our closest friends in the region, jordan and kuwait, are experiencing a political
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crisis in modern history in 1990. jordan is not doing much better. i think that we will have some very serious challenges very soon that we need to decide where we stand on a. >> we will take questions coming up momentarily. when one about syria. and there is not the regional a regional consensus to act yet in the context of syria as there was in libya. what are the implications of this grime that we see tragically everyday? we have had some indications of spillover, obviously jordan is dealing with an african refugee populations, as is turkey, exchanging fire with syria now and again. we have hands in the cookie jar from the saudis and iranians and others. you know, what are the
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implications? what do you see as the likely scenario for syria the next year or so? and what can the united states do and what should they do? >> one of the things you talked about in one of the perceptions, given that we have not been as aggressive, some of the things that i have heard, the region is that there is a belief that we were aggressive in libya because of the oil. whereas syria doesn't have that same job. moving forward, we have to consider the fact that part of this is seen in the region as representing our best interest. if our best interests unserved, then we will not. >> well, i think on this one, i'm not sure that i agree in a
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sense that -- you know, i think that, let's say we act now. i guarantee the press will say that we have some reasons for acting. there is just not trust of american intentions when it comes to the military and obviously we were constrained in the way we would act with cooperation. i just don't see it. but i think it is a huge dilemma for the administration. when you watch all the casualties and the strategic consequence, it has been a painful thing to watch. let's face it, this is just not about american foreign policy. it is a failed international system. there is a global information revolution. watch this and the father did this in 1982. it was not on tv. there were no expectations.
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the public wants to see something done, whether it is in the middle east or elsewhere, it is a failure of the international system in terms of that. still, when you look, 90% of the people empathize with the syrian government. but when you ask them, do you want to seize western intervention in syria, the majority of them say no. so they still -- they want something done. they don't know exactly what it is, but they don't want to see a military intervention. this is a big one for the administration. not only because you don't know what the morning-after will be. you see the divided opposition yesterday, as you know, the secretary tried to help forge a different coalition and it didn't quite work. you see who the people who are
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actually armed and fighting in the north, you know, they are of major concern to the u.s. when you look at the consequences for russia, this is not just a regional question. it is about a relationship with another superpower with the u.n. we are very comfortable acting with this, but yet we find people saying that maybe obama should do this for a different reason. so i think it is a really big problem for the administration. it is not tied to the election. it is not even a political type of election. >> let me also say that i agree 100%. don't get me wrong. i don't think that us going in and invading is going to change
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perceptions. i agree. either way, there will be these perceptions. along with positive it images in the west. helping syria is by no means going to change the perceptions that we have some countries because of some countries versus others. >> i think there is a growing trend inside of washington in favor of intervention. some kind of increased action. i see no such trend in the country in public opinion. i just don't see any real support for it. the bottom line is this is horrible, but the american military intervention there would make things astronomically worse for syria and france. i think we are looking at an extended civil war fueled by the interventions and every player in the region right now, we got what started as a peaceful uprising. it has now been transformed into an insurgency.
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you know, basically every player , the iranians, turks, they are all funding and fueling their own gangs and it is just, there's no easy answer here. >> i don't think it matters whether it is empowered or not. i don't see the civil war ending. imagine for the sake of argument that i think the administration is doing the right thing over the spring and into the summer, trying to use kofi annan and the united nations to broker a transition. this was the only possible way to deal with the day after problem. what did syria look like after this. the only way was to come up with a transition agreement which included representatives of the current regime and of the opposition and got rid of bashar
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al-assad and established a timeline -- a six-point plan towards negotiating transitions. it was the right thing to do, but it failed. now we are in a situation where there is almost no -- right now but right now there is no prospect for political ricin. that means we have seen this rapid descent to armed insurgency and also war. that is why i am extremely pessimistic. i just don't see any limited way that the u.s. tip the balance. no-fly zone, doesn't solve the problem, and absolutely nobody wants u.s. troops on the ground. so there you are. >> on that note, let's take our first question. >> apparently there are the beginnings of some discussions
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about things out of the country. who would be willing to take him. i can think of a place like [inaudible name], maybe. but with the russians and the chinese say or do. would they be willing to collaborate on that as a possibility, and what, if it did become a possibility, what would that achieve in terms of listening to what you just said, marc lynch, in making any kind of change in what happens to the country afterwards, if we are going to continue to have this ongoing problem with different factions. >> it would have to go someplace that is not mature to the international criminal court, it's because of washington. [laughter] >> more likely you would have to go to moscow or someplace like that.
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i think it would make a huge difference if you allow that beginning of a political transition. let's be honest. the possibility of reconciling inside of syria is intimately lower today than it was six months ago when kofi annan was working with the russians will not win. i still think it's the right thing to try. personally, i would like to see bashar al-assad indicted and leave the country and go somewhere else. because i do think that it is unacceptable for there to be impunity for the atrocities that have been carried out there. at the same time, diplomacy is going to be needed at some point to bring about an end game. >> hello, i am bridget prentice from new hampshire. i had a question about processes between the u.s. in the middle east and citizens knowing about the different cultures and government practices in each
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country. being a student, i talked to a lot of people from the middle east and they tell me that a lot of citizens don't understand how the government works in the u.s. and vice versa. >> that can also be applied to americans who don't know how works either. [laughter] remapped the world is learning about the electoral college. they are as confused as most americans. but i can tell you that i just returned from a week of lecturing in saudi arabia. there are rules about our election and our society and how it is divided, it was immensely interesting. i think it's true if you look at the old sense of several days,
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every country almost, saudi arabia, egyptian tv, they were all doing continuous things. i spent my evening they're learning about it. learning about who won the election. so there is a lot of interest in that. not a lot of people know about it. i think it is that one of the problems we have had after 9/11, whether its students or businesses, we also have more restrictions that made it more difficult because of the security issues, and i think it is really time to revisit that.
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>> i did in al jazeera english interview two days ago and asked about our society and whether the election was based along racial lines. you know, because different subgroups, we have those that went to one candidate or the other. we should give ourselves a little bit of credit. we have an exclusive election where we have one minority candidate. he defeated another minority candidate. and the election was largely about the economy. and really not about race or religion. that is a difficult concept for some others. especially if they look at our society to fully understand it. >> one of the sponsors, i am curious. i lived in syria. when there is a lot of discussion about things breaking down into sectarianism, i don't
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see any mention of the fact that syria has probably the largest christian population in the middle east. something like 20 to 30%. i am curious why this is not discussed it if you would comment and how you see that playing out. thank you. >> i don't think we are hearing a lot because that is not the overarching problem in syria. the half-brother, who is with the libyan rebels, they are trying to help the turks get out. so getting out of the country would go a long way to ease getting some of the resources
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are spilling over from other countries and focusing on their own issues. >> christians are absolutely terrified in syria. that is the bottom line. they saw what happened in iraq for the christian community was largely wiped out out of the fall of saddam and along with most of the other religious communities they see an opposition which is increasingly the public sunni islamist situation. they are very scared. this was a unified people against one-person regime. in syria, there is a significant population that continues to support the regime and is terrified about the future.
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as it shifted to an all-out war, and many many of them, have, if anything, gone back to the regime and that is one of the deeply complicated parts of this. you cannot assume that this is simply -- that all of the syrian people are united. that is not the way it looks on the ground. >> that worry is not just about the immediate consequences. obviously iraq has generated that kind of fear in particular. but you have to look at the history of this secular arab nationalism. from the very inception of it in the '30s and 40s. the forces that rally behind it were actually minorities that included sunni muslims. there is that correlation, which i think is still there in syria. and you can see that many of the
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communities are divided. there is a lot of fear of the consequences. >> back to the issue of what the united states can do, obviously in terms of, you know, winners and losers and transitions, women have been significant losers starting in iraq and throughout other countries. what can the united states do in terms of saying that as you write a constitution and the open of your political process, there has to be a role for women within conservative societies and that's not going to be their first inclination two the research that i do suggest that the united states doesn't do as much for the women in the middle east who are pro-gender equality don't appreciate when the western influences what looks
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like to these general equals and starts telling them how they should be a part of government. when it comes to this, i am not a big proponent of that. >> there are those who are taking their own initiative, doesn't have to come from within? >> i think you have to worry about country by country for sure. just to give you an example of what happened in tunisia, on the one hand, you know, when you look at the laws that have passed through the election. the election laws that led to the parliament, they forced everybody to have every other candidacy with women. as a consequence and in the parliament, you have far more women members than in the past.
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the largest number of women as a percentage of the block is actually within islamic groups. so they have a larger innovation. we don't know how this will impact the constitution, but there is a force with the idea that it is really not up to us. you do see the changes. in saudi arabia, evil worry about it. only about 10% of the population they are in a relatively isolated place, what is happening is the connectivity of the young people. more than half -- the women are
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all connected. they tweet about issues including things about the royal family. there are empowerment is, we are going to see it, how it's going to happen, it's going to vary from country to country. but it really isn't going to be up to us also. >> i would say you don't have to worry about it nearly as much is the perception about the middle east and gender oppression. the one thing that he promoted throughout was all of my aunts have ministries of health. the gender issue was never as big of a problem in libya as it has been in some other parts of the middle east. >> we are coming up on time. we are going to use your questions to summarize the panel. >> hello, i am from st. john's
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college in santa fe, new mexico. my question is quite broad. i am interested in knowing should we, in the united states and the rest of the world, are there more distances after what we have seen. and also if you could talk about what these differences are. >> stamford connecticut. we are here today. speaking in new york, we made a couple of major points. one of which was the need for the growth of the spirit of pluralism and politics across the middle east region. when he was asked what the seeds
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of that growth or conditions that might foster that growth would be, he essentially reiterated his other point, which is that americans shouldn't think that they have much to do with creating or fostering that. granted the second point, i would ask this panel, are their seeds of growth of political pluralism or conditions that could help nurture us, and is the question also relevant? >> in your book you talk about the regional narrative. there is activity that should be talked about. the fact that someone in one country can see what is happening and respond. >> it is a combination starting with al jazeera and moving through social media and twitter. i think there is a greater degree of identification and activity between arabs and here
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in the united states. i think that january to march of last year was probably the highest level of an intense identification and interaction in arab history, except for maybe a few years back in the 1950s. as in terms of, you know, you watch al jazeera back in february and they would show the images with five different arab cities. and he would have the protesters marching, at the same time, live, championing slogans, holding up signs, then they would do the magical flip thing. the same thing. that was really unprecedented, i think. but i do think that that momentum and unification is broken down a bit since march. ec countries undergoing a different way.
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tunisians are consumed with tunisian politics, there is still this sense of common arab identity and the common arab story. but it's not nearly as intense. it is not manifesting in quite the same way now. the other part of it is that bad things spread as well as good things. there is much more sectarianism now than there was before. that is coming out of syria. i saw the survey not too long ago showing the higher numbers of egyptians who say that she could not be considered real muslims than there are in iraq. and iraq is simply a sectarian civil war and most egyptians have never seen a shia in their life. sectarianism and those kinds of things are also being spread through these media channels. >> i think on the unification issue, i think there is diversity. libya, tunisia, egypt.
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the way they identify themselves is still interesting. you know, only about a third across the board identify with this and have the first choice of identity. most fill identified -- when you break it down into issues, you know, it when you even ask them about the interest of arabs and muslims coming a large chunk saying that this is a sense of connectedness even as they focus on these issues. politically it is fascinating. focusing on public opinion matters. we haven't focused on the states. egypt is still going through a revolution. economically it would like to be
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in place. it is not really fully integrated into our world yet. does that mean syria is in trouble? that leaves the gulf cooperation council of states led by saudi arabia. what we have is really an interesting political dominance. that is a coalition of state. they invited two other states into their club. to broaden the exchange for economic and security cooperation going different directions. and that is the coalition right now that is the powerful coalition world. the states that are going to change were somewhat marginalized. if you want to call that unity, go ahead. that's what we have to it will come back. i think you're right. >> in terms of identity policy,
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you have the title at sites that are the same in yemen. >> there is an air of identity within the countries and division that is continuing. i think it's really important not to overstate how they have come together. i was in egypt last august during ramadan. a couldn't wait to see these places liberated. that has died down since. at the same time, it is an important message in the air of identity at the same time. >> we have three extraordinary professors here who have given us arab awakening 101, 201 and 301. we thank them very much. >> tomorrow on "washington
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journal", we will talk to tea party chairman amy kramer about the impact of the tea party on the 2012 election. followed by a look at the new makeup of the u.s. senate and prospects for compromise on issues like the fiscal cliff. later, a roundtable debate on the initiatives legalizing marijuana in colorado and washington. and how the federal government and state will deal with the new laws. "washington journal" is live at 7:00 a.m. eastern on c-span. >> president obama will participate in a ceremony the ceremony at the tomb of the unknowns followed by a ceremony at the white house. live coverage begins at 7:00 a.m. on he's c-span. >> unless you get out and look at what is going on, you're
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going to miss this thing that influences yourself and everyone else. >> tom wolfe is live for this year's opening night at book fair international. plus, we will answer questions from the miami audience at 6:00 p.m. eastern on booktv on c-span2. >> coming up next here on c-span2, a look at u.s. southern border security. with state agriculture commissioner todd staples. followed by a discussion on the middle east from today's council of america event. first, u.s. pakistan relations. followed by a look at israel and iran's relations. later, the violence in syria and what is next in egypt. now, a debate on the texas
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security border. this is about an hour. >> all right, let's begin, i would like to thank you all for being here. we have had some very good discussions so far. we are coming together on issues and todd was a state representative from 1995 to 2001. and a texas state senator from 2001 to 2007. we will get to that, right
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commissioner? he recently launched a website that documents the problems about quarter problems. this is an initiative that we will discuss, one of eight children and he went to georgetown and he was elected to congress in 2005. we will see how they come together on border security. commissioner, if you wouldn't mind, i think what got you interested in border security? >> it's good to be here this
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morning. the reason i got involved in this issue is because we are being intimidated by transnational criminal organizations america for help. washington is in denial about the threat occurring right here. and i will say that operationally, are federal agents, both at border patrol and dea and the texas department of public safety and the rangers, our police officers are doing an admirable job with everything they have to protecting within our sovereignty and landowners. when washington is in denial, it sends the wrong message. they are asking for help, and that's why i am here.
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>> more money into homeland security. [inaudible] in your opinion, what is going on the other side of the border? >> well, thank you very much, and thank you for allowing me to be here. i want to say thank you to todd. we are good friends and if you are expecting a debate tonight, i think we will come up with solutions. i think what has happened is the american public is frustrated. i am more interested in coming up with the solutions and todd and i are going to be able to come up with some ideas at the end of this conversation. but let me first of all say that one cannot say that washington is in denial when we think the border patrol and the ice
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agents, i know what you have one of those individuals here. the i.c.e. agents, we are seeing more deportation and anytime at history. we now have doubled the amount of border patrol than what we have before. we have 18,500 of them on the southwest border of them. many of them are here on the texas border. money is coming in from washington. certainly if you look at what the state of texas has done, $2.3 billion to the state has come to the state. ..
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if you look at facebook border statistics compared to the national statistics, the border is safer, at least those numbers, murder rates and all of that, and take city by city for a hundred thousand, you will see that border areas have less murders and assaults and all of that. now, i don't want to get into the definitional debate as to what is still over because we can certainly talk about it, but we can talk about what spillover
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is. >> you commented a good bit, enyou worked, yourself, a sponsor for additional resources, and i'm grateful for you doing that, but you brought us the regime's reports. to say that it's improper to say there's washington in denial, to attack two of our nation's senior military professionals like you did, and when they were merely giving their reflection of what's gone on based on their decades of experience, i think you're dead wrong, and i -- i want to follow-up with that. this is why washington's in denial. we have -- we have, the president of the united states, comes to the university of texas in el paso and makes jokes about the safety and security of our
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country and joking about the border, you know, we have the secretary of homeland security saying that. we've had 140 dead bodies that have been discovered in the last year alone in two rural texas counties. the statistics cited are great statistics, but no amount of statistics can cover up the bloodshed at the hands of drug cartel members, no amount of stats can be manipulated to cover -- >> statistics cited black and white numbers, they are not always accurate, the u crime report, why are not not showing up? >> ucr data covers eight categories. they do not cover drug trafficking. ucr data gus not cover money laundering, human trafficking, kidnapping, extortion not included in that data, and think about this, we have 12 # 41
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miles between texas and mexico. we have great communities there. i go there often. 93% of our texas-mexico border is unincorporated and largely rural. that's the reality of the there was a run around occurring over the texas ranch lands. >> some of the folks on the video in the district saying there is a problem. how do you respond? >> first of all, two things, i will not dispute anybody in the video. i think any perm experience, feelings, on what happened, i'm not going to dispute them at all. i want to -- we right after we had the conversation, we brought in the ag folks, brought in different ranchers, invited todd, couldn't make it, and the law enforcement officials that we asked that ranchers what else can we do to work with you. a series of solution, more
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interested in not painting a picture, but in finding solutions on how we do this. now, just to say something about the two retired generals, i respect our military, but all i did was very simple, and i think, as any individual, you would ask questions, all i asked them, were you paid $85,000 from the ag commissioner to come up with a report where you never came down to talk to the border? they basically didn't like the question. i asked, did you go to talk to law enforcement on the border? i just asked simple questions. if somebody can, like the movie said, can't handle the truth, i was just asking them questions -- did you do this? that was it. if people get insulted, coming in, insult the border saying it's a war zone, but you can't ask them questions on how they did the study, then that's it.
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i'm a realist. i'm a realist about what's happening on the border. i know what's happening on the border. i have a generalled why what's happening across the river. i sat down, as you know, with the new president coming in mexico and sat down with calderón. mexico is not an enemy. if you start off with the approach mexico is not an enemy, have to work together, with law enforcement, we have to start off with working together to protect the border. if they plan national crime organizations, that's affecting us. now, they are in 250-plus city. they are in austin, texas, loredo, washington, here already. the cartels are here already. we know that. i'm a realist. instead of fighting or debating over, you know, is it terrible or worse, and i want to come up with solutions and, todd, i'm ready to work with you. >> commissioner, $85,000, is the
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accurate price tag? >> you know, if we're going to talk -- >> do you think it's justifieded that is the price tag? >> i think we are missing opportunities to secure our borders when we go to two of the nation's senior military professionals to help clear up the issue about what's taking place, and they say the drug cartels are seeking a foot foothold in the united states of america saying the report, what law enforcement is saying that it is a war zone, and if you're shot out, engaged in the give up battles, and people chase you off the property, i suggest to you that's what it is. i'm not going to argue with them. we agree very much how important that legal trade is. it is the legal trade we fight to preserve. we have a disconnect. california, arizona, and new mexico have about 14-plus border
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agents per border mile. texas has barely over six. we had a build up in the other states pushing that trade, pushed that trading route through texas, and, congressman, i want to work with you. you have good ideas. i think the american people just want the truth. they want the truth of what is taking place, and people are stepping up and saying that, and the truth is there's a rural run-around, and we need the resources, and we need clarity with the sister states on the number of border patrol. >> the reason we have to work together as democrats and republicans, i'm in the homeland security committee, the ag committee, happy to talk to you about how the majority passed the farm bill from passing the first time in a long time. it's important to both of us as -- knowing, talking about people with farms, very important to the state of texas. it's about to expire on december, i mean, on september 30th, but on this issue, we got to work together because
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democrats and republicans. we had in homeland, about a thousand new border patrol, about the new border patrol, and i don't have to tell you how it went. i voted in favor, went down straight party ticket. one side said no. we said yes. i said, well, hold it. if you say the borders of, quote, "war zone," like people say, why not put controls at the burledder. i want to put aside partisans, i don't want to spend time on definition, but how do we work together? well, we sat down with the border patrol and other law enforcement sheriffs on south texas after your conversation, and we sat down with them. we still need to do more. they set up a liaison. the chief commander for the border patrol and other folks
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down there sat down with them, and we need to know. i lived on a ranch. i know what it is. i understand it. i live on the border. i understand it. i understand the border also, knowing the facts, if there was a war zone, the border is growing faster than other parts of the state of texas. the businesses are growing there. businesses are growing there, but i understand it's a realist, that there are problems. this is why i fought to bring in new technology. this is why i fought to, you know, bring the uab. this is why i fought to bring in the excess equipment from iraq and afghanistan after coming barks, and we're doing all of this, but we have to work together. >> i appreciate your efforts there, but i would suggest to you that the people that are pulling the strings, the president of the united states, it is being undermine to allow those new resources to happen and to get what we need when we give last year, you had a press
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release saying the u.s. has not seen spillover violence. saying the u.s. has not received violence when we're acknowledging there's deaths, the law enforcement was engaged in give up battles, people killed, tons of narcotics, and that's not the mention the ones we can't talk. that's what is impeding this. recognize what it is the drug cartel members, we can't pursue them across the border, and we need a message we're going to put whatever it takes to defend the sovereignty of our country. >> he made the point that there was a bill to fund more border patrol agents. i don't think -- it's well known that republicans and in wushz don't like to spend money so that his comments members of the own party didn't want to fund it. >> people are tired of blaming parties. >> that's what i just said.
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you and i agree on that. [laughter] before you did that, you blamed republicans. >> no, no, no, i -- >> yes, you did. >> you blamed the president. >> you can't blame the president. >> [inaudible] >> ask a question, and i'll respond. >> give him a chance. >> i acknowledge president bush and president obama have increased the number of border patrol, increase of resources, but when you have a disperty of resources in the other states, it only pushes that traffic across, and it makes it worse. what we need to do is come together, and i'm willing to do that with you. >> let's do it. >> and to find the solutions, but i don't want to suggest -- [applause] i don't want to suggest it's safer than ever. that sends the wrong message because you and i both are on appropriations. we know if you get up there and say there's a terrible problem, but, really, it's okay, then it's a mixed message. it's not okay. our farmers and ranchers, it's not okay. >> no, no, and i have, and,
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look, my position's simple. i don't like people calling it a war zone. i'm a realist. i have three brothers, peace officers, and the border sheriff with dps for 27-28 years doing narcotics and intelligence. i know the reality of what's happening out there, and this is why, but at the same time, you know, this is texas. it doesn't stop at the border. we got to make sure we work together. the problem is that the problem is that if you want to talk about washington in general -- in general, we have the george bush tax cuts about to expire at the end of the year. i'm supportive of it, but at the end of the year, we have to do a sequestering cutting $1 trillioning. we have to cult october $1.2 trillion. we got other issues coming in, the debt limit coming in, all at the end of the year. when we come at the enof the
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year, you know, we are facedded with one thing that people tell us. one, don't raise our taxes. two, you better not cut services, and, three, redoes that deficit. now, you know it's going to be very, very hard. the only way to do this is working in a bipartisan way together. i want to work with you. just like we did in 2010. we put $600 billion for burledder security, largest amount ever for border security. it's not just border security, but other issues that help us. immigration we form, which i understand, and i want to thank you. i want to thank todd staples publicly for the decision on the ag reform itself. we need a plan -- >> [inaudible] that you agree with? >> he did it before, the -- >> recently, the ag commissioner -- >> and i think that effort is a good one. >> yeah. >> that we're doing at the party level and, but -- >> but, but, but --
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>> to derail that -- >> but let me say when ce talk about border security, we have to keep in mind, it's not just the border, but the great policy we look at. if you look at 2001, we had a conversation about the national security, and them the national security came in, and they said borders, both south and north, as a -- as avulnerabilities. part of it, well, what do you do? put more staff, more equipment, added some walls on the border, and then tied into that, what we had also was keep in mind the terrorists of 9/11 did not come in from the southern border, did not come in from the southern border, but visas and student visas. what we're looking -- oh, this conversation, national security, we also had people that start pushing for more restricted immigration policies.
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i feel if you want to help with border security like we believe, you have a full comprehensive -- at least i believe in a full comprehensive immigration reform like border security, includes a guess work of plan, and figure out what to do with the 11 million undocumented aliens. if you know who comes into work and who goes back under a guest worker plan, then you can focus your resources, like, eyes -- i.c.e. and other people who know. this is why it's a more comprehensive than just boots on the ground. >> commissioner, what's the magic number you want to see in texas? how many more boots on the ground? >> sure. before i answer that, i want to clarify an issue. on 9/11, it was not the southern border, but we do know and find that people from afghanistan and pakistan, iran, and iraq have been app prehenlded coming across that border.
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there's no one solution to solve the border and security. we can start out by not claiming the border is safer than ever when even people that sheriff who takes issue with the texas border acknowledges that south texas is a preferred smuggle route for moving illegal drugs into the country and bring it through the county. we need to secure the border increasing the border patrol boots on the ground. we have to do that by giving us minimum, start out with what california, arizona, and new mexico have. we need to increase the national guard troops, not limit them, but increase them. we have to continue to fund our local law enforcement, sheriff, and police for overtime. we need to change the rules of engagement or our official, and we also need to categorize cartel violence for what it is -- terrorist activity, go after them and their pocketbook
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and shut them down financially. >> you disagree with him on the bill that was to categorize the cartels as terrorist organizations. do you still have that view? >> look -- >> are they terrorists or not? >> yeah, they do create certain things that are considered terrorist acts, but my thing is -- my thing is law enforcement, we need to put resources for law enforcement, and we work on that particular part, but, listen, this is what we are looking at right now, we're looking at the border the sheriff does a heck of a job, and i'm proud of what he does, but, again, my situation is very simple. it's very simple. i have always pushed, and we pushed to get more security on the border, but it's not only the security in making sure the urban areas and rural areas like the plan or the work that ha done here, but we have to work
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together. in fact, last night, the senate, midnight, passed one of my bills that will call for coordination between the state, federal, and local levels. we got to work together. the old days, and i remember two years ago, the center of texas had a plan to protect the border. i got a couple agents, woah, woah, what's the secret plan? it's not supposed to be secret, but working together. state, local, federal levels together. it's the border security that working together, i'm a member of homeland security, member of ag, i understand the connections, and i want to continue working with todd because, again, we can spend all the time, but i'm still waiting, what are the solutions? i want to get ideas, i want input on how to work together. >> in addition to those solutions that i just enumerated, i think we need to continue, and i know we agree on
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this to modernize our legal force of entry, tremendous amount of trade comes through, our ports on a daily basis, i -- through texas, exports and imports, it's over 200 million a year, and agriculture's about 10% of that. that's a big part of solving a fourth burledder. >> i'm glad we've expanded it from one part. we talk about loredo texas, talk about trying to save, where to put more money, we can't forget about men and women in blue,ed border, ports of entry to move this. keep in mind that the u.s. ambassador, there's every day a billion -- $1.2 billion of trade between the u.s. and mexico. there's 6 million jobs created, have been created in the u.s. because of the trade we have with mexico. we got to work with mexico, and we got to look at the -- at how we work with them, especially
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when we talk about the border. the border is a very die dynamis peg of it. >> if i can transition into spillover violence. there was members of the prom innocent family from loredo, indicted on gun running charges. there's been court cases where hitmen operated in loredo, texas, u.s. citizens were there. on two fronts, that speaks to the fact there is activity on this side of the border, but on the other side, you can build a border fence to the pearly gates, if you wanted to. that's not gong to prevent them, unless we all take a minute, talk about the level of the spillover violence. >> well, it's been documented. you can just look at the news reports just this last week alone. there has been a former houston police officer indicted on money laundering charges, in houston. we have a kidnapping cases in
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san antonio last year in austin, a cartel operation had ties to mexico. there's a case, a criminal trial occurring right now in brownsville where a head cartel hitmen is spilling the beans about what is really going op. two weeks ago, or last month, a special agent in charge of the dea in chicago said that the number one criminal, not in drug cartels, but in the world, and he has a hub in chicago that's making parts of chicago as viability -- violence. it's frustrating for land ordinary persons -- land owners to hear the border is more secure than ever. >> listen, nobody is disagreeing there are problems. nobody is disagreeing. i can give you a lot more
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figures that you get, but nobody's disagreed, nobody's disputing that. yeah, yeah, is there a problem? yeah. we spent so much time trying to categorize what the problem is, but i'm interested in the solutions. how do we get to the solutions themselves? that's what i want to know. i can give you a lot more figures on that, but i'm interested in the solutions. how do we work together? how do we coordinate together? the bill i passed last night, the i.c.e. agent that was killed, about coordinating between the state, federal, locals together. they are here already, and i sent this over 250 cities, starting here in austin, texas right now. >> how infiltrated is l horks redo. >> it's ever where. >> specifically, what you hear, how concerned are they that loredo, texas -- >> any time there's a situation in mexico, that's very, very difficult, of course, you are worried about the spillover, and there are incidents.
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nobody's saying there's no incidents at all. nobody's saying that. the question is how do you address those particulars? how do we address or work together? spean time trying to characterize the problem or figure out how do we work intelligence? how do we work with our i.c.e. agents and with the different officials? how do we work on that? how do we work with the, you know, in the last three years, the united states, congress appropriated $31 billion for rehab and education on drugs, how do we work, you know, everybody says, well, security, security, i agree. being a member of homeland security, it is security. what about the rehab part of it also? what about that part also? what about also the 25-30 billion, i've seen your numbers, 39 billion, whatever the number is, the drug consumption here sent to mexico. you know why there's a violence there and why they fight hard and why they come here to
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protect their money? because the united states consumes 25 billion to 30 billion a year of drugs itself. >> commissioner, address the drugs addiction problem here? >> absolutely. any time illegal drugs cross, we buy bullets. they are bullets to shoot at the law enforcement. >> i want to get to another topic here. we love our guns, most of us do. mexicans love our guns as well. [laughter] i mean, you can dispute 90%, 50%, how many are traced back to texas in the united states. what is wrong if you're not doing anything, no illegal activity with your guns. what is wrong with reporting multiple sale of, you know, high powers weapons, ak-47s. it's a second amendment issue. they are just purchasing guns to hunt, what's the problem? >> i think you said it, but in with no but. it is a second amendment issue. no but's.
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>> i believe in the second amendment, and i think we can find the books -- the laws are in the books now to end force it, put atf agents out there, work with the mexicans out there. be smart how we work them. the e-trace program out there, to the mexicans, talking about this is great, but there's a problem. it's in english. we need it in spanish. we have to work with the mexicans, but, again, we have to understand that in the united states, we have a second amendment. there's books in the law to implement, enforce, put more personals to address that, and we added more atf agents out there. >> he mentioned, the former governor of mexico state to be sworn in december 1, the new president of mexico, familiar with him, and he's a personal friend of yours, and you said you want to work with the commissioner, and what do you see happening as far as policy?
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>> i hope that the new administration in mexico, takes a very bold and strong stance against the operators. i hope the initiative congress funded between the united states government and mexico has a great deal of oversight and accountability on how dollars were spent, and i hope we have a greater level of cooperation between our law enforcement and mexico's law enforcement. when we -- when our law enforcement officials in webb county, when your brother's sheriffs deputies chased a drug lord going down for a splash down, i want mexican military on the other side giving them no place to hide. i hope that's the result of this. i have high expectations that's occurring, and we'll be watching closely. >> we all hope, but realistically, do you think there's a major shift? do you trust the mexican law enforcement currently? >> general mcafree --
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>> here we go again. >> four star general issued a statement to the united states military academy, issued a report just this summer that said the mexican drug cartels spent $100 million a month driving law enforcement and local officials. >> that sounds like you don't trust them. >> look, hey, you look at the level of the -- the mexican -- the mexican government is kicking out 6 # 5 -- 65,000 law enforcement officers in mexico today a part of that system. we have to have a high level of accountability with what's being done, and we expect the best, and we're going to be inspecting what we expect. >> congressman, every few yearsy to create a new federal force, try to purge the local and state -- what you say, do you trust the mexican law enforcement? >> not all of them. let me go ahead and say this.
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we got to start with the basic premise that mexico is a friend of ours, not an enemy. >> do you agree? >> a valuable trade partner, friend, and high heat praised on the mexican military. >> he's not here. it's just you and i. >> don't be shy about -- >> no, no -- >> there's a stack of papers. >> all right, all right. [laughter] >> don't try to play -- >> no, no, let's answer the question. >> that's what i'm doing. >> you said not all of them. >> let me go ahead and say this. let's not get excited. corm down. >> [inaudible] >> when you look at mexico, and we understand they got a 2 # ,000 mile border with 1200 of them with texas. we know the trait, 1.2 trillion a day. texas is the biggest one,